Sunday, December 31, 2006

poem for the end

end of a season
end of a year
end of a life
nothing to fear

where do we go
what do you care
what do you know
until you're there

begin again or end it all
we'll find out when the shadows fall

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

home again

who displaced the native people
who have come back home again?

why should we be asked for reasons
renewing all our ancient seasons
as we celebrated them back then?

welcome nowhere else, we understand
we have always been the people of this land
we have this one place on earth at our command

those who claim by right of conquest
must acknowledge now we've won
their own logic says they're done

if they live in peace among us they will prosper
if they live in hate they'll have to leave

Friday, December 22, 2006

spring into war

when enemies surround us
and admit they mean to pound us
it makes no sense to pray they'll go away

it might be more efficient
to find out where they're deficient
and pound them there right now without delay

so if syria still has hopes
of descending golan slopes
then i know that they are dopes
who deserve whatever pain might come their way

Friday, December 15, 2006

raid map

the snakes are slithering out of their holes
they tunnel beneath the homes and roads
they live with the worms and bugs and moles
and swallow the rats and lizards and toads

they want a place to call their own
to hiss and bite in venomous glee
they hide inside an old dry bone

i want them far away from me

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

the bbc lies

From bad to worse, or from worse to bad?

the bbc lies gracefully
distorting news most tastefully
providing all the views we need
once thoughtfulness has gone to seed
and anti-semites denigrate us master-racefully

but al-jazeerah fills the gap
replacing insults with a slap
reminding us "i needed that!"
well, keep it underneath your hat
that all of them are full of crap

Saturday, December 09, 2006

the dragon that lives in the sea

Be careful when you walk beside still waters;
You never know what lurks within the depths.
The snake that's swimming just below the surface
Is the unimportant offspring of the dragon in the sea.

As it rises to confront us, steaming, slashing
With the spines along its back at passing clouds,
Its jaws engulf the pier, the fishermen are splashing
Through the surging waves that drown the near-by crowds.

Now the shore is littered with the screaming, bleeding victims,
Who survived their wounds sustained in that first ravaging attack;
The dragon wasn't even trying to inflict them,
But he will when soon he rushes up the beaches, coming back!

But what churns the river's edge?
Black and white, it leaps and charges,
With the tall, thick dorsal fins proclaiming:

Killer whales approach!
The sight brings hope to puny humans,
Faced with nature's retribution for our sins!

As they chase away the reptilian interloper,
The saviors of our sea-front
Stop and smile in their own way,

And they promise to come back,
When we have seals to feed them,
In gratitude for how they saved the day!


wickedly wickedly
slithering sideways
down the slope
the ragged old rattlesnake
shedding its skin
snakes live forever
didn't you know
when they get old and slow
tired and blind
they burst out in colors renewed
and leave the old life behind

Friday, December 08, 2006


The fog comes in on panther’s paws,
Splashing through the puddles as it lopes into the town,
Its hot breath hissing as it suffocates the valleys,
Sinking teeth into the silence as it wraps around the moon.

Muffling the lights and snuffling incessantly,
The ghostly panther pants as morning breezes rise,
The sun comes up, and people stir, mists vanish;
The panther’s supple shape dissolves before our eyes.


an early evening
sunset's rush to put an end
to ever-shorter days

a silent moan
a scarcely whispered sigh
suffering subsides

a cheerful flash
raw color splashed across
a chilling landscape

Monday, December 04, 2006

taking a chance

Rambling, gambling, taking a chance,
I wonder if I should ask her to dance.
This honky-tonk life is getting me down;
I think that's it's time to find a new town.

So it's back on the road
and stomp on the pedal.
I love all thy neighbors
but they do tend to meddle.

At least where I'm going,
they don't know my name.
I'll show them respect,
and hope for the same.

So it's goodbye forever,
and I wish you all well.
If that's not good enough,
you can all go to hell!

deep inside

Cars let us live
anywhere in the country;
airplanes, anywhere in the world.

Vacations can take us
to places outrageous,
beyond where the old explorers had sailed.

But however far
we go in a car,
or high, on our magic wings,

we never arrive,
however we strive,
at the source of meaningful things.

You cannot take a vacation
from yourself or the life you lead;
you only can slip away for awhile,
returning to watch yourself bleed.

You never eluded your aches and pains,
or found a place to hide,
because the place you really live
is buried, deep inside.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

a soft summer afternoon

Sitting on a soft summer afternoon
on the hillside overlooking Turtle Pond,
the Delacorte Theatre underneath a daylit moon,
and a brightly colored kite, waving like a magic wand.

Days when we were still together,
days before we split apart,
days when there was nothing we couldn't weather,
days before your leaving broke my heart.

I'm glad that I've forgotten all those happy days;
and we can go in peace our separate ways.

wearily wondering

Wearily wondering, suddenly single,
not too perturbed but unwilling to mingle;
someday perhaps I won't be so alone,
but until then I'll go my own way.

Don't ask me why and don't say you're sorry,
it's my life and I don't want you to worry;
I haven't done wrong for which to atone,
and I haven't got anything more now to say.

I cannot imagine a worse kind of life
than living each day in domestic strife,
to stare back and forth with faces of stone,
and the best we can say is, Havva nice day.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

wherever i stand

gritty gravel scruffy sand
shifting ground wherever i stand
garbage underfoot smog all around
highway growls a mournful sound

someday soon i’ll go away
to a place i’ll want to stay,
without the noise without the dirt
without disease where pain won’t hurt

if you can find me join me there
heaven’s big enough to share

the moon itself

the moon itself glows mottled blank
and never needs our words to thank
the lights that shine so bright at night
to guide our steps from wrong to right

but honeyed hunting harvest moons
in cold novembers steaming junes
are only in our minds as tunes
singing old delusional runes

when we look up and see it gleam
its meaning is only in our dream

hurry up & wait

the wind whistling wildly around us
we thought about raising a fuss
but the lights soon arrived
and we climbed up inside
and hurried off home on the bus

Friday, November 24, 2006

clear them out

see the feathers flying
as the geese are fleeing from the swan
when the goslings are around the cob says geese had best be gone

now hamas is whining for a truce
as if they kept the last one for a minute
they're talking softly while some other ragged group is on the loose

it's time to chase the danger from the lake
to eliminate the threat before it kills another one of us
i don't know how much more of this the world thinks we will take

blame game

Louise Arbour: Israel may be more to blame than Hizbullah

puhleeze louise you're such a tease
you'd think that all hizballah did was sneeze

whenever they can find
civilians they can hide behind
we're not allowed to hit them back
however many times they might attack

i bet it will surprise them
that you would criticize them
backed by the might and power
of the un's vow to pander and to cower

no wonder how in every generation
we stand alone as we defend our nation

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

happy happy

from dialup to DSL

from creeping slowly down the road
to racing

graphics loading music playing
you know what i'm saying

it's overdue but now i'm doing well

when you win say little - when you lose say less

they cynically manipulate
high positions of the state
but winning votes won't make them great

defend the people in their homes
suppress the enemy's flying bombs
before the towns turn into tombs

there is no way to keep from war
we've seen the scene set up before
the enemy always wants one more

they think they'll win
so let's begin
to keep them from engaging in this sin

go back to gaza and control
every tunnel every hole
every target every goal

if they won't live in peace
then let them leave

Saturday, November 18, 2006

they found seventeen rockets

UNIFIL: 17 Katyushas found in Lebanon since Sept.

watcha watchin, unifil?
see the idf fly by?
see hizballah's troops rebuild?
no big deal for you as long as only jews will die ~~~

welcome to the world of world opinion
molded and expressed by tyrants, thugs, and france

just in case the arabs claim to be in pain
we'll get a new proposal crafted craftily by spain

i can understand the failed states
and regimes suppressing their own folks
but aren't europeans supposed to be so suave
and always end up acting like such jokes?

at home depressed

there is a way to make it work
get up and kick it round the floor
then scream and shout and run about
and toss it out the door

and once you get outside yourself
to breathe the frosty misty air
you'll wonder when you sat inside
just why you weren't happy there

so take a hike
like, get a life
don't let the gray invade
the space inside your brain
you'll perk up fast with wind and rain
while wimpy sun and gentle shade
will only leave you lazy but never make you sane

Thursday, November 16, 2006


haiku avoiding
politics and poetry
gazes at the sky

piece plan

the spanish italians and french
are throwing their troops into the trench
to guard lebanese from the stench
of jewish self-defense

now they hope to broker peace
throughout the wartorn middle east
inviting vultures to the feast
of dying jews at least

they hope to smooth the flow of oil
and keep their immigrants from turmoil
all of which the jews will spoil
by defending their own soil

cowardice will have its place
in the councils of the human race

europe will supply its share
as islam is well aware

Monday, November 13, 2006

be well

off to see the happy doctor
says i lost a little weight
sees that my blood sugar readings
all are really looking great

taking blood
and now a flu shot
come back for pneumonia soon

i'm so healthy it's a marvel
for a crippled old man too

Sunday, November 12, 2006

the hollow cost

they're coming to kill us all again
they say it's only for our own good
they don't care if we live in pain
we aren't them that's why we should

that europeans sell us out is never cause to cry or shout
it's so routine we know they're mean

and now that all their muslim friends
insist they join them in jihad
they're wondering what they ought to do
they thought that genocide was bad

perhaps they'll come to see that life
goes on when they are second class
as their own bureaucrats have ruled
pursuit of happiness is crass

Friday, November 10, 2006


new york custom knife show

i missed the show
i couldn't go
i busted up my knee

my friends bought all the knives i like
and i'm too sore to take a hike
to see what's left for me

if anyone would care to share
a pic of what they purchased there
i'd really like to see

Thursday, November 09, 2006


whispering whistling hissing and squeaking
sounds of the woods as if nature is speaking
creatures unnoticed call out for attention
nothing important they just thought they'd mention
they're here

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

teasing me

teasing me
starlight peeps through the clouds
laughing at flooded ground soaked by the rain

freezing me
winds dying down
still leave the cold imprint of ice all around

or is it warmer now
so hard to tell
sitting inside
to hide from the smell
of desperate chimneys
pouring out wood smoke
trying to hold off the sharp evening chill


rainy days and foggy nights
autumn cold not yet arrived

remind me please
why glowball warming
climate change or sudden freeze
is something that should worry me
when i cannot see it harming
even leaves on autumn trees

quiet slips across the landscape
as the world goes into hiding
waiting for the snowfall
and the peaceful winter night

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

wrap it up

wake me when it's over
and the winner's been announced
i need to know the way to go
which party's getting bounced
or if i really need to care
or think it makes a difference
when so much always stays the same
no matter who makes better sense

dereliction day

quietly voting
never a crowd
the people's voice
is never loud
a subtle hint
of what we want

elections close
with few to choose
the greater good
will always lose
the lesser evil
slipping through

Politicians depend on their base coming through for them. But the base is energized by radical rhetoric and policies to match. We need the undecided, non-partisan, disenchanted voter to force moderation on the system.

The less reason you see to vote, the more we need you.

Your district needs you to vote. The higher percentage of voters who turn out, the more the politicians will care about your concerns and those of your neighbors. A district with poor turnout has little to offer a politician, who controls the money spent on public services.

As close as so many recent elections have been, and as rabidly partisan as many compaigns have gotten, each vote has become more obviously critical in the final analysis.

Please exercise your right -- fulfill your responsibility as a citizen -- and vote.

Monday, November 06, 2006


misty wistful elvenhome
lakeshore by evening
woods we wander all alone
quiet now we're leaving

someday we'll return
but when

Sunday, November 05, 2006

lost continent

pander to muslims
bash the jews

an empty trend
when bigots spend
their credit on an easy life

but when the bill
comes due the price
is civil strife

if europe is lazy
europe will lose

Saturday, November 04, 2006

cold & the dark

out of the sun
and into the breeze
i begin to freeze

sunset approaching
the day is dead
depression devolving
upon my head

misery sweeps across the land
swimmers abandon the frigid strand

picnickers leave the grassy park
hurrying home in the early dark

the end of the year
we know it well
autumn has fallen
like souls in hell

Friday, November 03, 2006


peaceful nights
as cold descends
from cloudless skies
and warm spells end
will drive the vagrant crowds inside
where warmth becomes a vital friend
but i will walk the streets alone
as always turned against the trend

accentuate the positive

kerry clowning
left them frowning
when his joke
made them choke

it wasn't only troops who tended
to account themselves offended
even his own party's candidates
cancelled kerry's campaign dates

which only helps us to remember
tensions rise with each november

we should know to be averse
to pointing out which side is worse
and to try instead to show
the good in us that you should know

Monday, September 11, 2006

that september

urban vermin heard the sound
when the towers hit the ground
five years now are dead and gone,
with rebuilding still undone

someone said we'll celebrate
this tragically unhappy date
we don't need a holiday
to remind us when to pray

while our enemies still are cheering
we recall the time is nearing
when their blind and deaf will grope
through a landscape without hope

and their historians will remember
they began to die in that september

september eleventh

rubble crushed in mounds
where buildings stood so tall
we couldn't see them all
far overhead
now dead

soon to be rebuilt on silt
mixed with human bones and guilt

mixed in with the crowd
proud to be the end
to which we all tend
but won't say aloud
even under our breath

Friday, September 08, 2006

limerix in the open air

poetry rising to glorious heights
like colorful verbal grammatical kites
soaring above the dull daily prose
alarming those
unable to savor astonishing flights

clouds of verbosity cover the sky
obscuring the vaults where the mighty birds fly
winged like the words
not pedestrian herds
who wander the plains all dusty and dry

too soon we return to the daily routine
forgetting the wonders we've dreamed and we've seen
in the dark stuck indoors
trapped by walls and by floors
and missing earth's cool hills of green

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Hine ma tov ...

Hypocritics loudly vent their feelings
in communiques they've sent:
Israel is always wrong
and Jews supposed to always lose.

That was then but now,
not to Allah will we bow,
nor to Europe will we turn,
when there's something we might learn.

No, instead to each
there is something we can teach:
When we stand together and we fight,
what we do will come out right.

endless showers

gently swaying treetops waving
raindrops spraying
blown in sheets across the ground

not quite silent water washing
windy splashing
almost makes a soothing sound

Friday, September 01, 2006

a sky of grey pearl

a sky of grey pearl
glaring my eyes to blindness
blinded by the light

incipient autumn

silently sliding across the sky
gathering clouds grumble and cry
soaking the sand with sneering disdain
cursing us all with gusts of cold rain
wait for the wind to blow it away
clearing another cool soggy day

Friday, August 11, 2006

terror slithers

stifling our silent dreams
of future lives in peaceful lands
the enemy thrives on our screams
our ignorance he understands

slipping through the opaque air
the fog enveloping the world
finding nothing hidden there
nothing inside emptiness lies curled

are we missing what it means
or has the sense of it subsided?

quiet reasoned discourse leans
against the end of time, expired

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

tonight the prime minister announced

rockets flyin overhead
wish that they were birds instead

urban vermin on the run
gettin shot is never fun

find himself at war again
rather fight it with his pen

but the day has come at last
gotta fight it with a blast

gotta fight it with a blade
urban vermin still afraid

in the hills of lebanon
where the enemy is gone

when the enemy is dead
he'll go home and go to bed


i see myself
in red
striding through the flames
of strolling steadily through life

but where's the fun
when life is done
of wrapping up a neat
unblemished sheet
that nothing's ever scrawled on?

Sunday, August 06, 2006

inconsequential circumstance

inconsequential circumstance
like watching passing insects dance
across the picnic table

i wander happy and alone
until the ringing telephone
interrupts my daydream's fable

is life made up of only this
to bump against what's real but miss
to wish but never to be able?

Saturday, July 22, 2006


rumbling thunder over the hills
tanks across the landscape slowly clank
people slipping quietly away as heaven fills
with smoke from rockets flaring far above the river's bank

instead of crops we'll plant the land with graves
like mushrooms growing in the dark of damp and lonely caves

and if you'd rather do without the shriek and stink of war
then maybe you should think before you bring it to our door

washed out

rain softening the outline of the distant hills
washing out the grit the world has left behind
over the edge of the waterfall a tiny torrent spills
whistling a tune as the rushing creek replies in kind

the sky turns black then gray then sun returns to shine
as thunder rolls and calls the black clouds back
and storms across the countryside are marching in a line
the power lines are menaced by the lightning's sudden crack

the lights go out and come back on
the readouts blink all zeroed out
a stormy afternoon is not much fun
when even my computer is washed out

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

not a fun day

i am often easy-going
but sometimes i am not
the world can disappoint me
and then i will get hot

but as long as there is nothing i can do
i'll sit and scribble aimlessly
and wish the best for you

time out

summer sun
fun to run
kids get out
laugh and shout

all this rain
what a pain
stuck inside
kids can't hide

pressure grows
anger shows
what's the use
child abuse

calmly wait
not too late
golden rule
back to school

relief from the heat of the street

urban vermin dragging dripping
ripping out his hair in rage
all the traffic fingers flipping
stuck in one big urban cage

soon the airconditioned buildings
losing power start to swelter
urban vermin leave the city
find some lakeside cabin shelter

now the skies are black and roaring
wind and thunder what a blast
rain is pouring lightning flashing
urban vermin cool at last


Sunshine in the city,
glaring in my eyes,
bouncing off the sidewalk,
where the egg fries.

Somewhere every summer,
someone tries this trick.
Whoever eats that egg
should pour the ketchup very thick.

Gray haze up the avenue
and not so clearly you can see
what you’re breathing’s not too good for you.
I know that it’s not good for me.

Wheezing lungs and tearing eyes
leave me prey to every germ,
and as the years and tears go by,
leave me prey to every worm.

Leviticus 26

3 If ye walk in my statutes,
and keep my commandments,
and do them;
4 then I will give you rain in due season,
and the land shall yield her increase,
and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.

I love to watch the people scurry,
seeking shelter in a hurry
when the rain begins to fall,
umbrellas looming over all.

Catch a cab if one's not taken,
duck inside a building doorway,
rush into the subway station,
get home dry but do it your way.

If you lived outside the city,
you would know why rain is good.
Flooded sidewalks are a pity;
why won't rain fall where it should?

no going back

return with me to days of old
when poems flowed hot like liquid gold
with metaphors as bright
as diamonds sparkling in the light
of warmer days

before the haze of war
left us to wonder
what all our words are for

Sunday, July 09, 2006

to fran

Smear the paint across the canvas,
sell your work, the money's good.
Let them take you out to dinner,
ignore the talk, enjoy the food.

What's the difference in the end?
The best you ever had to spend
wasn't cash, but time alone,
or with your family, in your own home.

Teach the young ones what's the story,
let them learn, not just surmise,
from someone maybe without glory,
but wiser than their starry eyes.


griping & whining
always complaining
never at ease
decades of life
with only a few
maybe remaining

has it all been
always for nothing
memories of triumph
faded and gray
arthritic aching
clumsy & shaking
wheezing & coughing
ending the day

try to remember
may in december
as each dying ember
turns into ash

getting out

cheerily chirping
standing on line
babies are burping
husbands are fine
babbling endlessly
nothing to say
glad that i met you
wonderful day
almost exciting
getting outside
pack up the kids
for a quick ride
leaving the house
with the walls closing in
children are screaming
just take a break
there is a limit
to what love can take


lock the children in at dawn
keep them inside all day long
if you think this isn't right
let them out at night

give them each a family car
let them race around the town
they won't be going very far
driving off a bridge to drown

they can burn free gasoline
no one's worth more than a teen

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


When Johnny comes marching home again,
Whenever that is, I don't know when,
We'll give him a hearty welcome then,
Together with all the other men,
And we'll all pray for peace that day forever and ever,

Monday, July 03, 2006

from the files

Whispering warm, soft thoughts,
The dying summer night gives way to chilly dawn,
A child's toy left lying in the yard,
Damp with the dew that’s sprinkled on the lawn.

And life goes on though people die
And leaves fall thick along the walk.
Who cares who's gone as long as I
Remain to talk and talk and talk?

Beneath the pristine blanket of the snow,
The purity of death is all that we can know
Until we rise renewed from archived files,
As lurkers read our words with patronizing smiles.

Sunday, July 02, 2006


listen to the news
arabs hate the jews
both of them accuse
walkin in their shoes
that would just confuse
peace is just a ruse
light a shorter fuse
everybody lose


when israel was in egypt land
mubarak said he'd mediate
but what they better understand
is it's already much too late

give back our guy
stop throwing rocks
and shooting rockets
or you'll die

it's time to come to an agreement
even if you hate us still
it's time we prove that's what we meant
that when we shoot, we shoot to kill

if you want peace
that hate must cease

throw the bums out

the legislature's democrat
the governor is too
so why's new jersey stuck without a budget?

who's acting like a spoiled brat
to raise the sales tax rate a few
they're just a billion bucks apart -- why can't they fudge it?

that's where it's at
what should we do?
as i would judge it --

throw the bums out
throw the bums out
wait till the next elections
and throw .. the bums .. out


it seems so long
we've been away
no sin to play
it isn't wrong

but now we're back
and hope you hadn't felt the lack
of empty words rolled down the abandoned track

Thursday, June 29, 2006

not what i thought

Flickering along just out of sight,
A dragon flew by me last night;
His wings overhead
May have filled me with dread,
But at least he neglected to bite.
The dragon's incessant and arrogant shriek
Left me feeling confused and frightened and weak.
As his drone disappeared,
It was just as I'd feared:
To the airfield he turned as his landing gear squeaked.
Flaps down, he cried to the tower, at last,
And I ducked as his tail fin's shadow flew past;
This mythical creature, I see now, it's plain,
No dragon at all, is a small private plane!
I stand, shaking slightly, still staring, aghast.

war is heck

the dragons are back
they growl overhead
if they attack
i'm dead

where can i hide
this war is not good
for the losing side
in my neighborhood

there must be a way
that someone should know
to let humans stay
and make dragons go


Hanging over my head,
Past the edge of the bed,
A sword on a chain gently swings.

The dreams that it brings,
Of wars and such things,
Makes me glad when I wake I'm not dead.

I know what I've said
Makes me seem so ill-bred,
As do some of my wilder flings;

Though opprobrium clings
To the dragon’s rough wings,
He flies on wherever his fate may have led.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

stalking the wild hallucinagen

pinions slicing the clouds
as peasants rush
to make the final payments on their shrouds
flames gush over the crowds
and the countryside is stifled in a morbid hush

A wing with a claw,
a voracious maw,
a dragon that bites
off heads as he fights --
the prospect sticks in my craw!

He circles the town.
The wizard looks down;
on the peak he stands
with staff in his hands,
and faces death with a frown.

The end of the day --
no end to the fray --
the dragon lights up the night.

With one last great spell,
the wizard to hell
sends the beast -- in secret delight.

Wizards and dragons
don't play well together,
and the tricks that they do
can disrupt local weather.

domestic tranquillity

The flowers, bright in the window box,
don't mind if the weather's not so hot.
They don't need water or light to grow:
they aren't real, but it doesn't show
from a distance.

I haven't got time to help plants die,
although they won't thrive, I don't know why.
Is it the water here is too hard,
or that I often forget to guard
them from the dragon?

He's only a tiny wyrm
and can't even get my dinner to burn
when he heats it.

He's better than a microwave
cause he chars meat nicely when he wants to behave,
unless he eats it.

What's the use of a flaming pet
when it's generally worse than an even bet
that he'll cheat me?

But I have hopes I can train this beast
and until then I can hope at least
he won't eat me.

here there be dragons

As dragons drift by overhead
the peasants below gaze in dread
while the mighty barbarian
his bold battlecry varyin'
decided to stay home in bed.

The knights in their armor of silver and gold
were tired of hearing they had to be told
that the village defenseless
would be beaten senseless
if the dragon defeated them all once again as of old!

The wizard rose up in his glory
with hair and beard windblown and hoary
with staff in his hand
on the mountain he'll stand
to ward off the dragon all fiery and gory!

unblocking the writer again

Writer's block, afflicting
the delicate sensibilities
of the urban poet,

easily overcome
by the rigorous application
of urban limericks:

Those writers who travel in flocks
are rarely subjected to blocks
but those who alone
their writing skills hone
are the ones that the Muse often mocks.

Saturday, June 24, 2006


the mirror's misted over and i cannot see my face
and if i were to see it i would claim this saving grace
i've seen those lines so often i don't notice that they're there
i hardly even notice all the gray now in my hair
i look around at all my friends who limp along and whine
and wonder why i feel that i'm still doing fine

Saturday, June 10, 2006

da fundamentals

if ya listen ta me
ya could go ta heaven
salvation's not free
like da seven-eleven
ya pays ya money
an ya takes ya choice
people look at ya funny
when ya raise ya voice
but da word is da word
an if ya rebel
ya already heard
ya could go ta hell

to the european union, on immigration

Come into my parlor,
said the fly to the spider,
as she poured a cup of tea,
and sat down beside her.

I doubt you mean to do me harm,
I really hope you won't,
but if you try, I think I'll die.
Please don't.

The spider flipped around
and tied the fly into a knot.
It wasn't very gracious,
but she said: "So what?"


midnight cats prowling
as their soft growling echoes
off empty sidewalks

simply sinuous
fluffy felines fidgeting
rarely racing rats

late night, in my lap
like a microwaved pillow
a motionless cat

a caricature
the small ferocious beast slinks
hunting canned dinner

unblocking the writer

There’s no better way to make writing work,
without seeming like an illiterate jerk,
than to pen an insouciant limerick
and hope those poor lines will do the trick.
Meanwhile I lurk in the murk.

i can't remember but i can see

words tumbling
pebbles in a rushing stream
poets fumbling
writing down a fast-forgotten dream

tropical birds in blazing color
shotguns blasting feathers from the sky
falling now and somehow duller
all that lives must die

the vulture, brother to the hawk
circles patiently, avoiding useless talk


rippling notes define the stage
as dawn arrives on the moscow river
no storm no rage
the music wakens just a shiver
a story from a different age

* ****** **** ****** *

listen khovanshchina - zubin mehta

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

epea pteroenta

words hidden in the lists of a dictionary
like birds in the upper mists of an aviary

suddenly the flock soars across the open page
and their song implores us to release them from their cage

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

sick sick sick


just some funny ancient numbers
who knows what they really say?

"superstition still encumbers
civilization's fragile sway."

what, me worry?

urban vermin sometime worry
but he never need to hurry

catastrophic circumstances
will confront him if he dances
if he hide, not takin chances

if he frolic, if he sing
if he dodges fortune's sling

better to enjoy the sunshine
if the bomb fall then he'll whine


what can i add?
too late to say how sad
the scenes that fill the movie screens

the ones who lived have died
we've tossed their memories aside
no longer knowing what it means

in every generation
the world needs our attention
the bloody chariot through fiery skies careens

Monday, June 05, 2006


a hawk floats alone
in the pale and empty sky
just for me to see

Sunday, June 04, 2006

responding to shakespeare

To muse upon the Muse,
as if we dare
our hopes and wishes
with the goddess share,
is not so simple
as the Bard did write,
although we sit up trying
every night!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

in all seriousness

We live in a dangerous world. Violence has become too common. I follow the news with difficulty, since the media generally are poorly informed on what they report. So I cherish the occasional enlightening article or analysis. Today was a good day: I found two worth keeping.

From The New Yorker, THE AGITATOR - Oriana Fallaci directs her fury toward Islam.

From Augean Stables, DEMOPATHS & DUPES - Demopaths are people who use democratic language and invoke human rights only when it serves their interests, and not when it calls for self-criticism or self-restraint.

Friday, June 02, 2006

in defense of today's storms

yes, they did predict heavy rain today ...

urban vermin rushed outside
indoors he could not abide

sitting down and moping's dreary
running in the sunshine's cheery

but the rain was pouring down
drowning every street in town
changed his smile to a frown

tried to walk a couple blocks
soaked his shoes and soaked his socks
parking lots looked more like docks

this is the downpour of the year
the creeks will rise the ducks will cheer

urban vermin back in time
to write this sorry little rhyme

Thursday, June 01, 2006

in defense of bloggery

each day they promise
but we never see the rain

till the night
when cooling breezes
tell me i should not complain

news reports
are so misleading
how can i believe they're true?

are clever liars
but for news what can we do?

find a blog
that thinks like you do
but who knows what's happening

soon you'll feel
that you are writing
every clever witty thing

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

we will survive

urban vermin proud to bite
when he feel he may be right
never mind he may be wrong
always sing this clever song

rats and mice they will survive
when no one else is left alive

whats the secret you may wonder
not the lightning not the thunder

speaking of their humble choice
whisper in a still small voice

ch ch ch ch ch ch ch ch

questions and answers

It's been a while since the New York Times provided a real haiku forum. However else the form is defined, it thrives on poets tossing verses back and forth with each other. That's gone now and this isn't the place for it, either, but maybe an introduction to haiku will encourage some of you to try it yourselves.

Haiku is a Japanese poetry form. There are many styles of haiku because of the different traditions that gave rise to it, but formally, it's simple.

The basic format is three lines, of 5 syllables, 7 syllables, and 5 syllables. There is some room for changing the syllable count, especially in languages other than Japanese, where that rhythm can be difficult to achieve.

The subject is supposed to be a brief description, preferably of a natural scene, with parallels to the human condition.

From Jane Reichhold, and others, Aha! Poetry is probably the best single website introduction to haiku and its many poetic relations:

Here are a few of mine:

crossing the skyline
one lone hawk circling slowly
with no prey in sight

rosebuds in winter
dusty cheap plastic flowers
behind worn curtains

clicking rapidly
beetles produce background sounds
like living machines

Here's a pair of haiku i wrote together:

the night winds howling
like wolves calling to the pack
through the city streets

can you run with them
whispering their hidden names
scenting the fresh blood?

We used to write these back and forth to each other, dozens of them every day, sometimes. Whole conversations in haiku, not alway true haiku, but sticking to the format:

sunshine diminished
the day is finished, but fun
has only begun!

night time comes

night time comes and another rat goes
out to the street
to find something to eat
everyone knows
what it takes to defeat
the feeling that we'll never beat
big black bad old ravens and crows

but if you really care
all you have to do is share
and the birds won't mind if you show up there

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

seriously -- or not

With the heat in the 90s, my friend suggested packing the car and driving somewhere north. Toyota rhymed with Minnesota ...

all the fuss about global warming
leaves me in a funk
not that a little sweat is harming
but donuts in iced coffee i will dunk

i would vote for minnesota
minnie mouse
just as long as skies are blue
and i'm inside a cool dark house

Urban Vermin

I love the struggling rat.
Now what do you think of that?

He never tries to reach the skies,
He never sighs or alibis;
He always honors family ties --
He's better than a lot of guys
Who sneer, and then avert their eyes

As servants put out poisoned bait,
So much the working rat they hate.

here i am

urban vermin on a quest
searching for what he does best
knowing he is such a pest

watching humans mill around
leaving trash upon the ground

see they always fail the test